It very much depends on the carrier (US Postal Service, FedEx, United Parcel Service/UPS), any instructions by the purchaser/sender (leave at the door, get a signature), and the location layout (outside steps/porch, lobby mailbox, inside foyer door).
Most online vendors offer multiple shipping options, and costs, so that you can figure out when an order will be delivered, and by what carrier. Should it be the postal service, you can let your post-person know, leave a note, or tell them you'd prefer to pick it up at the post office if you're not there. UPS has the infamous ring-and-run, hitting the doorbell, dropping the package at the door, and dashing off before you can respond. It can be the least preferable, if your delivery point is not in a safe location (front steps of home on a city street).
And, quite often, neighbors can be asked to take in large packages, and are happy to do so. If a notice is left at the door, you'd have to make your way to the carrier location (post office, UPS depot, etc.).